You may have noticed that Pop Scene has been missing since late last year. This is not because we've reverted even deeper into our indie-ish ways, listening to the Joanna Newsom record over and over again. No, it's because charting the likes and dislikes of the rest of the country is not very exciting when the likes and dislikes of the rest of the country never fucking change. Seriously, those guys have been listening to "Imma Be" and "Tik Tok" for months, and it's messing with our shit over here like you would not believe.
Ben: I'm glad to see more of Orianthi, who was so incredibly charismatic in that scene in This Is It, but why does this track's decent music video—which follows her progression from bedroom jam sessions through house parties to stadium shows and back—insist upon doing that annoying Guitar Hero thing where the neck of the guitar is always in the shot, like the camera is mounted on guitars even when it's in the arena audience? This makes no sense! I also miss the Aussie twang in her voice, which might have helped set the generic lyrics apart from the likes of Clarkson and others. Finally, who the fuck is this loser who thinks he can't take her any place?! Doesn't he know that dating hot rock stars means you can go every place?
Ben: In an interview with MTV, Timbaland explained that he made this track as imitation Black Eyed Peas: "I gotta do me a 'I Gotta Feeling' record," he remembered thinking. I gotta say, though, that if Timbo's music has devolved to the point that he's making poor facsimiles of will.i.am songs, maybe he should pack it in already. The title of the abysmal record this track comes from, Shock Value II, says it all: Something that was gripping and exciting the first time around, when repeated (or poorly copied), loses all its vitality. Timbaland is dead to me now.
Ben: We've often talked about how hip-hop artists somehow get away with all kinds of misogynistic lyrics that would be unthinkable in other musical genres—or, you know, in life—but I think that under-appreciated modern genius T-Pizzle has found a solution in this S&M anthem. Because he's not auto-crooning about just any kind of reverse cowgirl, Mike, we're talking ropes, straps, role-play and safety words ("yee-haw," I believe): "Baby let me rope you up/tie you down/do it right/no matter how hard you buck." The solution isn't to tone it down, but to take it further. Well played, T-Pain.